Former Aston Villa ace could be Newcastle United's first summer signing as Toon 'eye' Manchester United outcast on free transfer

Newcastle United are in pre-season action against Rotherham United this evening – but a lot of morning talk surrounds transfers.

By Jordan Cronin
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 11:00 am

Steve Bruce is yet to make a breakthrough in this summer's market after confirming rumours he had been handed a low budget.

That is forcing the Magpies head coach and the recruitment team to explore the loan market.

Here is the latest gossip surrounding St James’s Park.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Newcastle United are reportedly pushing to sign Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Newcastle ‘push’ to sign Manchester United defender

Newcastle United are pushing to sign Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Steve Bruce is a central defender down following the sale of Florian Lejeune to La Liga side Alaves.

Indeed, Raphael Varane’s imminent arrival at Old Trafford could see a loan deal completed quickly and make Tuanzebe the Magpies' first summer signing.

Bruce signed the 23-year-old for Aston Villa before playing a big part in their return to the Premier League during the 2018/19 season.

Toon wait on Joe Willock answer

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that Newcastle are still waiting for an answer on Joe Willock’s future at Arsenal.

It is claimed talks are ongoing, not just over a loan deal but a permanent one as well as the Gunners look to raise funds for their own transfer kitty.

Willock expressed an interest in returning to Tyneside following the end of his remarkable loan spell, while Bruce has made him his number one target.

It is believed Bruce wants three or four new faces before the opening game against West Ham but that seems unlikely.

Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher is an option, though Crystal Palace and Leeds are also interested.

Phil Jones ‘available’ on free transfer

Newcastle could reportedly sign Manchester United defender Phil Jones on a free transfer.

90min reports that the Red Devils are open to allowing the 29-year-old to leave without being paid a fee in a bid to move him off the wage bill.

Jones hasn’t played a Premier League game since January 2020 with his £100,000+-a-week wages proving a real stumbling block for potential suitors.

Bruce is a big fan of Jones but could face competition from West Ham, Everton, Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Southampton.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor